1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
a synopsis of Bosch's synopsis,
This review is from: TRANSFORMING MISSION: Paradigm Shifts in Theology of Mission (American Society of Missiology) (Paperback)
Transforming Mission has been a classic for nearly two decades now and the historical approach taken by Bosch in summarising the epochs of mission proves stimulating and perceptive, even if he admits himself that each chapter is indeed a mere summary. With a breadth of scholarship and research this is still to date the key historical missions summary in the discipline of The Theology of Mission. Anyone looking at the key missional paradigm shifts and their implications can be assured that Bosch is a great signpost on the way to understanding the significant dimensions of mission in the last 2000 years of the Christian church.
Criticisms- First at times he can be a bit unnecessarily over wordy and occasionally repetitive with a little incoherency in chapter structure. Second, at times the epochs are made to fit the model chosen and not altogether convincingly. Does for example the Enlightenment period run into the late 18th century/19th century as he notes and are the years of the paradigms accurate historically? Third, the first Epoch could have been written in a manner similar to the chapters on the other epochs so that the chapters read similar. Fourth, Bosch does not actually summarise what the main paradigm shift is though he describes characteristics of it. Any reading of the book still says, so what was the paradigm shift here? Fifth, the postmodern paradigm shift is arguably inadequate, due to the developments in mission subsequent to the book and the "lets wait and see what will happen" is still necessary even now. Sixth, what is left out? Though there needs to be a selective approach in the history of mission little is mentioned in key areas of mission...Pentecostalism, Charismatic Movement, Methodism, Feminism Theology, Black Theology, Ecology, and so on.
That said we are not disappointed in finding a book that has stood the test of time and a landmark in historical paradigms of mission.
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